my burdened soul

Christian Reading in His Book, by William Blake

Lord, God of Heaven, of Earth, of Hell!
Omnipotent of all that dwell
    In them, and in them is;
With penitent and painful sigh,
In deep contrition, Lord, I cry
To Thee, great God! O Thou, most High
   Heal my infirmities.

Evening and morning, noon and night
My burdened soul a sorrowing sight
    Bleeds ‘neath a chastening rod:
No pleasure, mirth, nor happiness
Lights up my heart; blind heaviness
Of what, I know not! wretchedness
   Obscures me from my God!

What have I in rude rashness done
To blur and blot my morning sun
   And darken all my life?
What have I, in my youthful rant,
Once sown, that now is grown a plant
Of bitter fruits, while devils chant
    Hell-hymns to cheer the strife.

Wrought in my soul? – the inward war –
Darkness impenetrable, far,
    Unpierced, – unsightly, cold!
No glimmer of some kindly ray;
No power to clear the hellish way;
No light; no path; nought but dismay
    Threat’ning my heart once bold.

Thou are the Only who can hear,
Answer and grant the contrite’s pray’r
    And richest blessing give!
Then, Lord, illumine my dark soul;
From off my heart this burden roll;
And let me reach the happy goal
    Of life! and reaching, live!

John Nathaniel Samuels-Belhoder, 1935


But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient.

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